Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Host: The Movie

    I saw this at 9pm Thursday night and was so excited for it.  I waited patiently all day for this movie and when it finally started I was bursting with energy and eager to see this book turned into a movie.  I had such high hopes and let me just say I was no disappointed in the least.  The movie was AMAZING. 

                I was excited and leery worried they would change too much from the book, but I still went in with an open mind because I loved the book and the trailer looked fantastic.  I admit there are some differences, which I expected.  Time wise, it is just over 2 hours, and the book is HUGE (619 pages according to goodreads).  So as an adaptation it was pretty awesome and short of making it 4 hours they put pretty much everything in there.  Now they could have explained a few things a little more fully, as one of the girls I saw it with the second time didn't quite get some of the things like how did they get here and end up taking over kind of thing but as the story takes place after it has happened it's not a major point, it's done and move on.

                The cast was great.  I knew most of the main cast already and was excited to see them.  We have Saoirse Ronan, who I knew from Hanna and The Lovely Bones,  as our double lead playing Wanderer and Melanie, two different characters in one body.  She did an amazing job, she is an amazing actress and I couldn’t have pictured a better actress to play the part and give it the depth it needed.  To be completely at opposite ends and to have such compassion even in the face of what others would turn to violence for.  And as this is a love story as well she has great chemistry with her male leads and little Jamie, you could really see them as siblings.  Then you have Max Irons, from Red Riding Hood, playing our hansom, strong, confused, and emotionally tortured Jared who is desperately in love with Melanie but isn't happy with her body's return as Wanderer.  He played that conflict very convincingly I felt.  Next is Jake Abel, Percy Jackson and the Olympians and I am Number Four, playing Ian the other part of the love box.  He starts off like the others not trusting 'it' but then as he sees how Wanda acts he starts to see her as Wanda and not an 'it'.  He goes from enemy to protector.  Caring for the soul inside another's body…very complex.  Then I have to give special mention to William Hurt who gave Uncle Jeb amazing life.  It takes a special kind of person to play someone with such a mix of crazy and genies with the ability to add levity to a situation.   Even Diane Kruger, from National Treasure and Troy, did a good job as the films main villain, even though technically anyone possessed as a soul is seen as one, she is the one going after Wanderer with a determination unlike the others.  She has little things about her, little things that bring the character to life in a real way. 

                The setting and visuals were great.  The Seekers are all in white and metallic vehicles, which is different from the book but it fits them better I think.  Clean and perfect.  The desert.  Natural and dry but stunningly beautiful to look at, from the comfort of an air conditioning for me.  Pure untouched nature.  The cave.  Grand and amazing, I know it was a set but still there really are places like this out there, Google it, nature is an amazing thing.  Finding a place, a safe haven, and making it work for you.  Now the first thing you see it's the cover of the book, the eyes.  The way you can tell human or soul.  I love the eyes, I'm sure those contacts would be a pain to wear but they are beautiful.  I also wondered how they would make the 'souls' look in their true state, would they be slimy worms or centipedes?  Much more beautiful, better than I expected, I wanted to reach out and hold one.   Visually the whole movie was dazzling. 

                The story is the book so of course it was fascinating.  Seeing a sci-fi world where aliens have taken over but everything is peaceful and happy, but still not human.  Fighting for love, for choice, for survival.  Never stand down.  The movie brought all of that out and then some.  Living on your own terms and not as a shell.  There was a bit more action in the movie than the book, but that is because we got to see more than just Wanderers POV, we got to see others as well.  They also sped things along, there were some things in the book that worked really well on page but to put that in a movie with that much…it would drag it down.  They hit all the major scenes and the little things they changed I was honestly okay with. 

                So if you liked the book, you must go see this movie.  I don't think you will be disappointed.  If you haven't read the book and you thought the trailer or the premise sounded interested then see it and give it a fair shot.  It is from the author of Twilight and that is great for some but don't let that be your deciding factor.  I saw it twice in 24 hours and honestly cannot wait to see it again, if that is any indication.   Now I want to know, have you already seen it?  Plan to see it?  Questions, comments leave them below.

Rating: 5 Glow Worms  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Host: The Book

                For those of you still with me, first, thank you so much.  Now the movie comes out this Friday and I was going to wait to post my overall review but I thought since I just re-read the book for the movie, and had never reviewed this before, I would do the book then on Friday post about the movie.  The movie comes out Thursday night where I am and I have the day off of work to go see it.

                The Host by Stephenie Meyer is a sci-fi book about an alien invasion where pretty much all humanity  is gone.  The world is perfect.  Humans no longer run things, Souls do by living inside our human bodies.  They bring peace to the worlds they inhabit, minus the whole wiping out the current population that is.  However, there are still those few who fight to keep themselves. 

  This sci-fi book is also at its core a love story.  I think that it is a very human romance in a very alien world makes it all the more powerful.  Seize each day.  Don't let love slip away when you have it. Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away after being captured and having a Wanderer, the invading 'soul' inserted into her body.  Wanderer didn’t expect to find the body's former tenant still there refusing to relinquish her hold.  As Melanie fills Wanderer's head, her head, with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for him.  Feelings, the souls find, are very powerful on this planet.  Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love and finding something so much greater. 

                I liked this book because it really made you wonder.  Are the souls evil, yes they are aliens who took over your species but they didn’t do it in malice they did it to help make things better.  Are the humans who resist vicious animals because of their hardened outlook on life?  When neither side is truly evil there is a lot of gray area to play with.  Then there is the whole, two completely different characters, enemies and then allies, all in one head.  They have many things in common, but they also have very different ideals and wants.  Then there is the love cube.  Yep, not a triangle, that would be to simple, this is a complex cube that doesn't get stuck in a bunch of the love triangle stuff in other books I've read.  I also like the tale of living under the radar, surviving off the grid.

                I found this book originally after first reading Twilight a few years back (I can't believe it's so long ago).  If you liked them, you'll enjoy the relationships and characters in this.  If they weren't your cup of tea but you like alien invasions or sci-fi with complex characters, give it a try.  It's a tale of love, alien invasion, freedom, but most of all it's a story of survival.  Now the movie does come out everywhere Friday.  I will be seeing it tomorrow at 9pm and will write my movie review post haste, and hope to have it up Friday or at the very latest Saturday.  Check back with me for that and check this book out!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A rounded out Movie Marathon!

                As promised and getting back on track we have my latest movie marathon.  It's from Valentine's Day but still.  That's right I treated myself and was my own Valentine at the movies for A Good Day to Die Hard, Identify Theft, and Safe Haven.  Yep we have John McClane, whom I adore, a comedy, and a total V-day chick flick to cover, something for everyone.

                First and most importantly for me, A Good Day to Die Hard.  I've seen all the John McClane movies and frankly he is no questions about it awesome.  I love each one.  I just found out though before this one was released that the original Die Hard was released the same year I was born…I have not been watching that long for obvious reasons but have spend at least a decade enjoying and that is love.  So as you can imagine I had high hopes.

                There isn't too much to say about the movie really, it was Die Hard.  There was haha funnies, action, McClane being McClane, explosions and the like.  This time though he was out of the country though as he goes to check on his son and in typical John fashion finds himself in the center of chaos.  He really does have atrocious timing if you think about it.  Now there was more chasing and guns and less hand to hand combat but I didn’t mind.  I always roll my eyes when they set the guns down to fight in movies then the bad guy cheats somehow and I think, 'if you had just shot them' so I didn’t have to do that at all.   Overall and to the point its Die Hard so if you've watched the others you must see this if you haven't…where have you been?

5 Stars…because it's McClane.

                After some fun loveable action I decided to go for a full fledged comedy with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.  First this movie is not a family comedy if you somehow thought otherwise think again.  Small children be warned.

                Identity Theft, is the hilarious comedy about a woman who steals others identities and her latest victim is Sandy, a nice guy who doesn't hurt anyone and is more of a pushover.  That is until this incident comes close to costing him his new job, then Sandy decides to go get her and bring her homes to clear his good name and his record.  Anything you can think of to go wrong does with this duo and their road trip.  Bounty Hunters, angry gang members, and their fighting against one another leaves no room for anything but craziness, with a few life lessons in there along the way.

                Predictable yes.  Though it is a good laugh.  Plus it does shed light on how easy someone can fall prey to identity theft and how the all mighty authorities have their hands tied when it comes to helping you.

4 Credit Cards

                Now for Valentine's Day I decided to go ahead and see the girlie movie Safe Haven as well to round off my night.  I admit with sadness that this movie was almost full, much more so than Die Hard, which I'm attributing to the show time being later in the evening.  I like girl movies, and to my knowledge have watched all the Nicholas Sparks movies, I dig them. I like pretty much any kind of movie really.  So I never understood the reason why some people shunned 'chick flicks'.  Well I think this movie was the first I'd come to understanding.  This is the first one I'd seen in a packed theatre (minus my Twilight movies), or surrounded by females I didn’t know.

                The movie itself is about a girl who runs from her life, literally, and tries to get away.  She gets out and she finds her safe haven in a small town.  She finds herself drown to a widower and it forces her to confront her dark and haunting past. 

                Don't get me wrong I liked the movie.  I did it was cute and fluffy and I enjoyed the performances by Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, and David Lyons.  What I did find slightly detracted from my enjoyment was my viewing companions as every single time something happened about 80% of the audience would 'awe' at anything remotely cute or sweet  or 'gasp' or 'shriek' out of shock or horror.  I don’t mean to be rude about it but after 20 minutes and 15 minutes of it had an added soundtrack around me it did get annoying. 
                So I do suggest that if you see it in a smaller grouping to fully enjoy the movie itself I still recommend seeing it.  I give it:

4 Bicycles

I just finished rereading The Host for the movie and am debating if I want to review the book now or wait for the movie.  Thoughts on that as well as the above movies put them below.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

                I finally had more than lunch breaks, which go by much too quickly, to read and finished this.  The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, is the 3rd book in the Bloodlines series (a spin-off series of the Vampire Academy books) so if you have not read them then BEWARE of spoilers…major spoilers.

                So when we left the gang last, rakish misunderstood bad boy Adrian had professed his love for Sydney Sage after kissing her.  Yep we'd seen it building and if you were like me you were ubber excited.  Sydney of course being an Alchemist and having her beliefs that Mori and humans don't mix told him as much.  She may be using magic and being friendly with them against her strict beliefs but she wasn't crossing that line, she was still human after all.
                 They still must work together to keep Jill safe in their hide away in Palm Springs while Sydney begins to question the people she has trusted since birth.  Her whole world is spinning around her as she learns even more from this Marcus Finch.  Uncovering secrets, dealing with her feelings for Adrian, and oh yes a witch on the lose who may be after her.  Can she handle everything in her calm, collected, rational and logical way or has she reached her breaking point?

                I loved this book, I'll go ahead and tell you I give it 5 Golden Lilies easily.  It has all the things you love in this series.  Great overall story and the smaller subplots are on point and really add to the story as a whole.  Then you add in the characters and you have a great time.

                Now I love Sydney, being insider her head especially as she struggles with all of these issues both the obvious ones and her more internal battles she has with herself are well written.  Who doesn't struggle with themselves on what they should do vs. what they want to do and then what ends up winning out.  Grant it I don’t think any of my problems have been this serious but it is always an interesting time in her head.  She has grown over the arch of the books  in a natural progression but still things are a struggle, if even that things being easy is its own struggle.  Then we have Adrian who I have adored since the VA days for his attitude and his essence.  He is so witty and sarcastic, the bad boy with a real good heart *swoon*.  He is a very complex character with a variety of emotions and features and you never know what is going to happen, even more so with his Spirit.  Plus he is determined to help Sage realize they do fit together and he is so cute when he is determined.
A sneak peek at the next cover! Squeal 

                That's all I can say without giving away too much.  So yes you must check it out if you’ve been a fan of Mead's other books in the series.  If you have yet to discover the magic that is The Vampire Academy or Bloodlines go now and start the journey from the beginning, as the next installment is set for November 19, 2013.  Already read it and dying to talk to someone else about it?  Like or dislike my review?  As always let me know below.

                *Coming soon* A bit belated but reviews of A Good Day to Die Hard, Identity Theft, and Safe Haven.